Many of my former high school classmates have read BAND GEEK. It's flattering that they're supporting my work, but I think that at least part of their reasons for reading my book are to see if they "recognize" any of my characters.
As I've said before, I did base some characters on real people, though most were a composite of people whom I knew. However, there were a couple of cases where I just out-and-out used a person's name. It's no secret that the character Principal Scott Muller is based on my friend of the same name. It's just a cameo role and I named him after my pal as a little joke; happily, the real Scott is pleased to be "in" the story.
Things got a little weird, though, when I had a discussion with his MOM about my story. I know his family very well and count them among my friends, but still, it felt strange to be talking about Book!Scott with the mother of Real!Scott. She was very encouraging, though, and went out of her way to tell me how much she enjoyed BAND GEEK. I didn't ask her about it or even if she'd read it; she sought me out, which was really sweet. I did ask her what she thought of Book!Scott, though, and she laughed.
I think that most authors name at least a couple of characters after real people in their lives. I'm actually a character in my cousin Barbara's ESL books; she wrote several books that are used to teach English and named her characters after relatives, including me. It's a fun way to give props to the people you care about and who encouraged your writing. I'm just glad that my real-life friends and family -- and their family members! -- like my literary shout-outs.
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